River Beal

River Beal

Infobox River
river_name = River Beal

|Upstream from Firgrove|200px
caption = River Beal at Firgrove.
origin = Beal Valley
mouth = River Roch, Belfield
basin_countries = England
length =
elevation =
mouth_elevation =
discharge =
watershed =
The Beal is a small river in Greater Manchester, England, and is a tributary of the River Roch. It rises in the Beal Valley in green space between Sholver and Royton, before continuing northwards through, Shaw and Crompton, Newhey, Milnrow and Belfield.


From its source at Beal Valley, it flows north through Shaw and Crompton in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, where Old Brook and Pencil Brook are tributaries, [] . It continues north through Newhey and Milnrow in the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, then joins the River Roch.

In part, the river forms a boundary between Oldham on one side and Royton and Shaw and Crompton on the other. [cite book |last=Brownbill|first=J|coauthors=William Farrer|title=A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5|publisher=Victoria County History|date=1911|pages=92–108|isbn=978-0712910552]


The name Beal is believed to come from the Brythonic word "Bel" meaning "raging torrent".Fact|date=April 2008

An early reference is in 1212, when the Beal valley was recorded as part of the thegnage estate of Kaskenmoor, held on behalf of King John by Roger de Montbegon and William de Nevill.cite book |last=Brownbill|first=J|coauthors=William Farrer|title=A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5|publisher=Victoria County History|date=1911|pages=108–12|isbn=978-0712910552]

Built in 1892 on the bank of the Beal, Ellenroad Cotton Mill made fine cotton yarn by mule spinning. [cite web|url=http://www.ellenroad.org.uk/|title=Ellenroad Steam Museum|publisher=ellenroad.org.uk|date=|accessdate=2009-09-14]

During operation of a bleaching and dying works, discharge to the river of used dyes and waste would cause it to change colour from one day to another. [cite web|url=http://www.merseybasin.org.uk/page.asp?id=2864|title=Local Action / Action Irk & Roch|author=Mersey Basin Campaign|date=|accessdate=2007-08-15|publisher=merseybasin.org.uk]

In the late 1990s, Littlewoods PLC changed the course of the river slightly to allow development of their Shaw National Distribution Warehouse Centre.

In an incident in 2005, raw sewage was discharged to the river, killing thousands of fish and raising health fears among local residents. [cite web|title=Leak turns Beal into dead river|url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/168/168174_leak_turns_beal_into_dead_river.html|accessdate=2007-08-15|publisher=manchestereveningnews.co.uk|author=Stephen Foster


*Butterworth Hall Brook
*Piethorne Brook
*Jubilee Brook ? (name uncertain)
*Old Brook
**Brushes Brook (formerly Leornardin Brook) [ [http://www.oldham.gov.uk/crompton-moor-history-trail.pdf Crompton Moor History Trail ] ]
*Pencil Brook
*Hodge Brook ? (name uncertain)

River item line|upstream=Ash Brook
downstream=Stanney Brook



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